Twisted Fate

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Chapter 9

-Arlo-

Her radiant silver eyes met mine as I stirred awake in bed. The 3D crystal engraved with my mother’s picture sat on the plaque, giving off a luminous light on my nightstand. Next to that was the mini golden ern with a small number of her ashes. The remaining of it swam somewhere deep in the ocean, her favorite place on earth. I sighed heavily as I glanced at her wide smile next.

This instantly had me turning away and heading to the bathroom. I couldn’t think of her without thinking about that tragic day. The day I’d lost her.

As much as I’d wanted to stay in bed, I needed to get some work done. Plus, it wouldn’t make a difference. I never slept for shit anyway. The nightmares of my past kept me awake most nights. That’s a lie. It kept me awake every night.

At first, my mind didn’t drift away like normal. I was utterly surprised that my psychologist’s advice on watching my thoughts as an outsider had worked. Mentally talking to myself was helping, but the second I looked in the bathroom mirror, the reflection of the demon prince stared back at me, and just like that, I pulled myself back into the darkness. I wasn’t me anymore. I never was.

Soon all my childhood memories replayed in my head, and the thought of dying became constant. Although I didn’t have the balls to end it myself, visualizing a painful death gave me a sense of peace. I deserved it after all the terrible things I’d done.

Your thought process is a toxic chain reaction. Think of the people that need you. Dr. Berman would say. It’s what saved my life every time.

“Hey, dickface!” Carson pounded on my bedroom door, snapping me back into reality, “Stop jacking off and let’s go!”

I paused at the sound of his voice. Countless times he’d reminded me why I needed to continue my miserable life. Carson was only 18 and still needed a fatherly figure in his life. For him, that was me. I couldn’t expect Kane to watch over our little brother and be the alpha of Silver Moon. He’d drive himself to insanity.

Carson needs stability and guidance. I thought to myself. There’s one reason I needed to be alive.

Kane needs my help. There’s two.

“Are you coming or not?” Carson groaned. I slipped on my leather jacket before leaving the bedroom. My brother was leaning against the door as I opened it, causing him to fall backward. I caught him in time and put him in a headlock.

“What the heavens are you doing knocking on my goddamn door like you’re the Lycan’s?” I grumbled. My brothers and I shared this inside joke because only the Lycan’s knocked on our front door with authority. They only visited when they needed to borrow our powers for special missions—a deal made by the werewolf and Lycanthrope council in exchange for our ordinary lives.

“Get your dirty hands off me,” He tried wiggling out of my hold. I held my arm tightly around his neck as I took my other hand and rubbed my fake germs on his face. He recoiled, utterly disgusted, “I used this hand,” I said before bolting downstairs and out the front door. I beat him up some more before we finally left the house.

I dropped Carson off at his appointment with Dr. Berman before heading to ‘The Better Place.’ He’d been having a lot of panic attacks lately. Years and years of abuse and torture really did a number on our mental state. Dr. Berman was the best psychologist in Silverhill, and he treated the three of us for PTSD. Sometimes he even treated our kids at The Better Place.

The lavish cabin style homes came into view as I pulled into the gated entrance. Kane’s truck was already parked in front of the main office building. I decided to head there first. Luckily, I managed to sneak past the children at the playground; otherwise, I wouldn’t get any work done. They’d all take turns and force me to push them on the swing like last time. Not that I minded. It was more entertaining than paperwork.

The Better place is a sanctuary for abandoned children who come out of unstable homes. Kane and I have made it our personal mission to help as many children as possible who suffer from neglect and abuse. We offer them a healthy environment to recover until the right adoptive parents come along. Something I’d desperately wished for myself when I was a helpless pup.

Kane poked his head from his computer as he heard me open the door, “You’re late again,” He muttered, tossing a stack of papers on my desk adjacent to his, “We complain to Kiera and Andrew for tardiness, and here you are showing up 20 minutes late.”

“Well, good thing I’m the boss,” I smirked, knowing he’d be annoyed with my comment. Pissing him off was my specialty. He grumpily mumbled something under his breath before going back to his computer. He hated when I put him in his place.

We spent some hours looking over paperwork and catching up on updates with the packs. Mostly because we didn’t see much of each other. Kane stayed busy between work and finding ways to manage the population. Blood Rose and Silver Moon continued to grow even more over the years. It seemed like we’d have to buy more land soon to fix the issue.

“Make it quick. We have a meeting this evening,” Kane said as we walked the long trail to the lounge.

“What now?” I groaned. The council insisted the packs within the city limits have a meeting for all important matters. Heavens, even if the sun shined the wrong way, we’d be having a meeting at once.

He sighed in annoyance, “It will mostly be about a land dispute, but they’d be announcing who gets to host the annual alpha meet this year. Also, some changes in the committee will be discussed.”

“Sounds like fun,” I grumbled sarcastically. I looked over to see him mirroring the same irritated expression. We were both feeling the strong urge to skip the meeting, but it wasn’t an option for us because we’re a part of the committee. Not showing up could alter our position.

This meeting would probably involve a few hotheads arguing back and forth, followed by some useless rambling about non-important topics. Just thinking about it aggravated me to the core, but it wasn’t the only reason for my frustration.

I didn’t want to hear the judgmental whispers of our peers. Everyone in the city looked down on us for the same reason- the demon blood running through our veins.

I am a hybrid, half-werewolf half-demon, which is a grave threat to the average wolf. Our mother, Loretta, committed the biggest sin. She mated with a demon and went against the rules of the council. The laws have prohibited anyone from creating different species, and most children like us were executed at birth. However, in some cases, hybrids can undergo specials tests given by high authorities to redeem themselves worthy of living. But it came at a very high price.

Fortunately, our powers are too valuable to be wasted. Therefore, we work for the council on legal missions. When the council calls, we come without argument or hesitation. As long as we followed the rules, there were no issues.

“At least we don’t have to deal with that prick from River Ash anymore. I heard his daughter recently took over,” Kane informed me. Jonah, the previous alpha of River Ash, is also apart of the committee. He always went out of his way to make us look stupid in front of the others. I would have beat the shit out of him one day had Kane not been there to stop me. I couldn’t afford to make myself look bad.

On many occasions, we’d tried to reach out to Jonah though he refused to even look our way and remained hostile. The Collins detested us. I’m sure his daughter wouldn’t be any different—useless hatred for something that happened centuries ago. I’ll never understand this.

“Maybe she’ll be nice and better to look at,” Kane said, opening the lounge doors. I snorted, following behind him, “Don’t count on that first one.”

The lounge was dim as all the children gathered blankets and pillows to scatter around them on the floor. Cartoons played on the big screen tv, the characters high pitched voices coming through the speakers. The schoolteacher, Abby, smiled over her shoulder, noticing our presence first.

I held a finger to my lips as I tiptoed behind the small brunette, lying at the back. She lay on her stomach, kicking her feet behind her, peering up at the large screen. Her elbows rested on the pillow while she used her hands to prop up her chin.

“Mind if I sit here, little lady?” I asked, tapping the pillow next to her. She waved her hand without pulling her eyes from the screen, “Yeah,” She said, slightly annoyed for bothering her. It was when I chuckled that she finally recognized my voice and snapped her head in my direction.

“Arlo!” She chirped loudly, claiming everyone’s attention. Without warning, she jumped up and threw her little arms around me.

“I missed you, Rosie,” I welcomed her embrace, lifting her off the ground and playfully spinning her. She threw her head back and giggled. Before Kane and I could say anything, we’d been ambushed with hugs and questions on our whereabouts. The children were upset we’d taken so long to visit, especially the small pup in my arms.

“Why haven’t you been visiting us?” Rosie frowned, her big brown eyes glaring at me. I thought It was the cutest thing, “You missed my tea party, and Mr. Snuggles wasn’t happy about it either,” She added, tightly holding the brown bear I’d gotten for her birthday.

“I am sorry to you and Mr. Snuggles. I have been busy with work but don’t worry, I’ll make it up to you,” I promised her.

“You’ve said this before,” She reminded me.

Although I cared for all our children, this group was my favorite. Each had special powers and capabilities of their own. They are separated from our human children, mostly learning how to control their powers.

“I think Rosie has something important to tell you, Arlo,” Abby smiled, appearing at my side. Her lustful eyes lingered on me for a second longer as she brushed her arm against mine. I inwardly cringed. One night with her was one too many. She was an attractive, nice girl but way too clingy. Even after I’d ignored her calls and date offers, she still didn’t get the hint.

“What’s that?” I asked, putting Rosie down and focusing all my attention on her and deliberately ignoring the she-wolf. Abby frowned and crossed her arms. She wasn’t happy about this, but I could care less. I wasn’t interested.

“It’s nothing,” Rosie said, nervously. She clutched Mr. snuggles tightly and lowered her head. Her change in demeanor made me more curious. Did something happen to her? Rosie was like my little sister, and If someone was bullying her, then I’d put a stop to it immediately.

“Talk to me, Rosie.”

“Its nothing really,” She repeated. At this, the other girls crowded around giggling, but Rosie remained silent.

“You know you can tell me anything, right?” I assured her. I didn’t have a close bond with the others as I did with Rosie. She was just a helpless toddler when they’d first brought her to the better place. For months, she cried if anyone else tried to hold her except me. She’s special, and we share a lot in common—one being that she’s also a hybrid, half-she-wolf, half-witch.

“Err…I…,” She stammered, “I learned…how to summon something,” Her words caused the girls to laugh more.

“That not it,” her friend Jasmine giggled, “Rosie has a boyfriend. He’s a human,” She said to me. I turned to look at Rosie to see if she was joking. Her wide eyes and flushed cheeks confirmed Jasmine’s words.

“A boyfriend? You’re only six,” I grumbled, unhappy. Seems she went behind my back after I strictly told her no boys until she’s thirty.

“He’s my friend,” Rosie objected, but the guilty look on her face told me there was more to their friendship.

“Who is this boy?” I demanded, furrowing my brows. She remained silent, clutching the head of Mr. Snuggles, refusing to utter a word about him. Fortunately, Jasmine was quick to spill the beans again.

“It’s Brandon from group C. He gave her his crayons and shared his juicebox with her. They even give kisses on the cheek.”

I knew Brandon very well. Most of the time, I saw him with his finger up his nose and stealing all the juice boxes from the human lounge. He had no time for nonsense when it came to his favorite juice. He must’ve really liked Rosie to share with her.

“Oh really,” I raised an eyebrow, “Then I must interrogate Brandon and ask him what his intentions are with my little Rosie…but most importantly. Who gave you permission to have a boyfriend, little lady?” I asked firmly before attacking her with tickles.

“I don’t…I swear,” She breathed between her laughter. I chuckled at the pure sound. It was a sound that brightened up my day on the darkest days. If she’s happy, I’m happy. These kids were my life, and I’d do everything in my power to make sure they had the things we didn’t.

Third reason.

Kane and I stayed a bit longer than anticipated. We watched some cartoons before playing an intense game of tag. The witches in training won every round because of their invisibility spells. Rosie demeaned they’d be disqualified for cheating. Before I knew it, we were 20 minutes late and rushing to the board meeting.

“We’re so late, Arlo. I told you to make it quick,” Kane grumbled as he sped through traffic, ignoring all the traffic laws.

“Don’t act so innocent. You fell for their charms too,” I said, reminding him of the girls pleading to get us to stay longer. They won us over every time. He tried to get out of it though he lost when the girls hid the car keys away.

I could already imagine all the alpha’s talking shit as we pulled up to the officials’ building. Everyone was inside waiting for our arrival. I sighed, exiting the vehicle. I’d rather be back at the better place than this meeting. Although I didn’t want to be here, something strange happened when I stepped foot inside the building.

My demon-wolf was restlessly pacing inside me as we walked closer to the room in which the meeting was supposed to take place. It was the strangest feeling I’d ever experienced. The dread instantly replaced with excitement. It bewildered me even more.

I expected to have an uneventful day, although the second my eyes locked with a pair of heterochromia ones, something shifted inside me. Things were going to get interesting very quickly.

My whole world stopped as I gazed at the most beautiful she-wolf sitting at the back of the room. My breath hitched while all the alarms in my head screamed one thing-

Mate.

- Please comment and let me know if you like the new introduction to Arlo's character. Love you all my beautiful readers!

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